Although my visual art practice is multidisciplinary, including printmaking, photography, painting, digital creation, and video, more than half of my artworks are drawings made with graphite, charcoal, and ink.

This simple, even noble, medium leaves no room for special effects. In drawing the way I do, it is impossible to cheat. With a graphite pencil, a stick of charcoal, or a some ink and a brush, and a sheet of white paper, I can create an infinite number of colourful worlds, composed of a variety of subtle details, expressed solely in blacks, greys, and whites. Viewers of these drawings are invited to stroll through them with their eyes and discover, in the myriad of details and shades of grey, other worlds – their own.

My drawings have gradually evolved away from the figurative-oneiric. Sometimes they are on the border between figurative and abstract, and sometimes they fall more fully into the world of abstraction, even though they emanate from the study of a natural element.

The sources of my inspiration are situated mainly in the observation of subjects or natural phenomena found in daily life. I am not very interested in the spectacular. My attention focuses on the little things that we see every day and that people pay no or scant attention to because they don’t take the time to stop and look at them. These are, for example, the reflections of light on moving water or in the smoke from a fire; the changing shadow of a tree on a building or a road; the cracks in parched earth; the structure of a rock or of flower petals; the infinite variety of cloud shapes.

My visual investigations develop from thematic research – particularly the four elements: earth, air, water, and fire. In my creative approach, my goal is to express their hidden essence through a detailed exploration of their possible pictorial representations. I am particularly interested in the similarities found specifically in the respective graphic forms of these elements. These forms, these particular visual languages, both differentiate and connect them. Through the use of the different media listed above, my work takes on a polymorphous aspect, enabling me to create a rich expression of each element.

My creative process in drawing has been strongly influenced by experiences I had as a young child, especially, as a three-year-old, watching my father develop traditional photographs. Through a child’s eyes, I contemplated the magic of the development process – the gradual appearance of the image, first with blacks tracing the strongest lines, then the emergence of the greys. As I watched this slow process unfold, I imagined a variety of possible compositions, a series of variations.

In the last few years, I have been passionately interested in exploring different avenues of pictorial research in drawing. It is a visual exercise that is expressed through repetition, series, variations. Indeed, as a musician might compose a melody and then develop variations on it, I draw a “graphic melody”: a minimal image, composed mainly of key elements, which will be the preliminary sketch for future works – a series of variations.

In the twenty-first century, choosing contemporary drawing represents an act of resistance against the digitization of today’s world, by using the barest means that exist: a pencil, paper, and . . . worlds open up!

To discover the complete CV click Deriaz_CV-en.pdf  

To download the artist ‘s statement click  Deriaz_artist'statement.pdf

                   VISUAL ART EDUCATION
1970          M.A.Fine-Arts. University of Art and design, Geneva, Switzerland.
1968          B.A. Decorative Arts. University of Art and design, Geneva, Switzerland.

                  VISUAL ART TRAINING
2014          Etching course, Piroir Studio, Montréal Québec, Canada.
2000          Visual Art Certificate. University of Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada.

                   RESEARCH  EDUCATION
2004-08    Ph.D. Andragogy (incomplete), University of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
2003          M.A. Gerontology, University of Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada.
2000          B.A. Multidisciplinairy, University of Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada.

Madeline Deriaz is the fourth generation of a family of Swiss photographers – photographers from father to son since photography was invented. She is the first woman in the dynasty to have published and exhibited her photographs. Since 2013, ten of her photographs on the theme of water have been in the collection of the Musée de l’Élysée, the photography museum in Lausanne. But her favourite medium has always been drawing. When she was fifteen, she set up her first studio in the attic of her family home and began to learn to draw by copying works of the great masters. For her, drawing is as essential as eating and sleeping.
After studying visual arts at Arts décoratifs et aux Beaux Arts de Genève, Deriaz built a career as drawing teacher, typographer, graphic designer, illustrator, and gallery director. In November 1993, she immigrated to Quebec. Her working life came to an abrupt halt in the fall of 1994 following a very serious accident, and she was inactive for six years. 
In 2000, she moved to Saint-Camille, a small community in the Eastern Townships, and returned to school, attending the Université de Sherbrooke and the Université de Montréal for a master’s degree and a doctorate, respectively. Her field of study was relatively new at the time: development of the elderly through the visual arts. 
In 2008, she returned to making art and, while pursuing this career, she is involved in the artistic and cultural communities on the local, regional, and national levels.
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